A peplum by definition is a "short overskirt." But somehow that doesn't quite do it justice. A peplum is a perky bit of fabric that flares out from the waist and magically transforms the dress, skirt or jacket it's a part of. Typically the peplum is cut on the bias (on an angle) so that it seems to swirl around the body giving a dramatic, romantic look. Peplums were all the rage on jackets and dresses in the 1940s, which gave wartime outfits a little bit of excitement during strict fabric rations.
This abbreviated flared fabric is currently winding its way around wedding gowns, adding dimension to waistlines and skirts. Amsale cut a crinkled organza peplum that curly-cues asymmetrically around the hips. It seems to just magically float around the body.
Marchesa makes a peplum stand at attention on a short fitted lace column. It adds depth and drama to a simple, modern look.
Junko Yoshioka added a layered tulle detachable peplum that sits primly at the waist of a clean mermaid adding a touch of froth and softness.
Tiered and layered skirts on the other hand don't just stop when they hit the hip. They ebb and flow up and down skirts creating lightness and romanticism.
Ines di Santo's tiered organza ball gown is layer upon layer of fabric with beading and floral appliques touching down here and there.
Monique Lhuillier's off the shoulder ball gown is a dramatic display of design and technique. Chiffon and satin petals decorate the bodice and top layer of skirts that sit on plain-layered tulle, which in turn sit on more tulle layers dotted in more petals. Wild and wonderful. Many designers are edging their layers in horsehair, which gives a firmness to them and creates a bigger, bolder look.